A Clockwork Orange (1962) is Anthony Burgess’s most famous novel. Its themes of free will and individual responsibility are still urgent today, and its uncompromising violence and dark humour remain powerful. He returned to it in print and on air throughout his life, especially after Stanley Kubrick’s controversial 1971 film adaptation. Here are recordings of Burgess reading the opening sequence of the novel, in the Manchester accent of his youth; part of an unbroadcast, candid interview about its themes and concerns for the Italian media; a well-lubricated after-dinner speech accepting a prize for his work from the Writer’s Guild of America; and the overture and opening number of Burgess’s own 1986 adaptation of his novel as a stage musical, performed in 2017 by the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra.
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